We Are Called to Resist

We Are Called to Resist February 19, 2017
Use as you desire
Use as you desire

Resistance is learning to dance with the Divine
Resistance isn’t against the teachings of the Divine.
Resistance isn’t an “anti” thing.
Resistance is being open to the voice of the Divine.
Resistance is being empathic to the pains of others.

While those in power may see it as anti, those exercising their right to resist don’t see it that way. Resist, in all it’s glory, is a verb; a call to action. One of the definition for resist is, ‘struggle against someone or something.’ While the noun, resistance, is defined as, ‘the refusal to accept or comply with something; the attempt to prevent something by action or argument.’ Resistance is standing behind what you believe is right; what you believe the Divine desires from you. The origin of the word come from the late Middle English; from French résistance, from late Latin resistentia, from the verb resistere ‘hold back.’ Many church leaders say we’re not to resist those in authority, because they believe God placed all authority over us. For example, Robert Deffinbaugh, at Community Bible Chapel in Richardson, Texas, said, “Whether the government be totalitarian or democratic, the Christian’s obligation to submit to it is the same.” But I wonder. One of the key realities of our faith journey is to resist the culture, resist doing harming others, resist following the status quo, resist what we see as wrong, resist those seeking to harm others for their own gain.

When people use those scriptures, they often leave out an important part. They quote, ‘Be a good citizen. All governments are under God.’ But they leave out the part that says, ‘Insofar as there is peace and order, it’s God’s order.’ What if there is no peace? What if there is no order?

Was Jesus resisting authority when he questioned the Pharisees?
Was Jesus resisting authority when he over turned the tables in the temple?
Was John the Baptist resisting authority when he publicly scolded King Herod for his infidelity?
Was Peter, and the other Apostles, resisting authority when they refused to stop preaching?
Was Paul resisting authority when he refused to abandon his missionary work?
Was Luther resisting authority when he started the Protestant Reformation?
Was Martian Luther King resisting authority when he marched for equal rights?
Were the those who founded the United States resisting authority during the Revolutionary War?

Resistance has a long, and Divine, history among the faithful. Some great voices from the past, the prophets, the apostles, and the authors of the Collective Narrative (including the writer of Romans Chapter 13) understood that human authority – even civil authority – is limited. The idea of resistance is not found in the idea that we must remain silent when we see authorities doing what is contrary to the heart of the Devine.

In Paul’s letter to the Romans, he writes:

“You’re not getting by with anything. Every refusal and avoidance of God adds fuel to the fire. The day is coming when it’s going to blaze hot and high, God’s fiery and righteous judgment. Make no mistake: In the end you get what’s coming to you—Real Life for those who work on God’s side, but to those who insist on getting their own way and take the path of least resistance, Fire!” [Romans 2:5-8]

The key things for me, are:
We must advocate for what we believe is right in the eyes of the Divine
That there will be a time when our faith is tested, and we must resist giving into the status quo
That Real Life starts when we stand for those ideals we hold to be right in the eyes of the Divine
That not resisting is the path of least resistance

Notice that Paul is talking about resisting ideas, the culture, the harm silence causes; the harm caused by ideas that remove the human factor in favor of profit, political gain, and marginalizing the marginalized. Resistance is not disobedience, it is in fact what we are called to do when authority moves from the path of the Divine, and into the path of personal gain. Still, people will say [usually those who the resistance is against], ‘we are not judge another people,’ and, as I said before, I agree – but again, in our resistance we are not judging the person, we are judging the idea; we are judging whether something does, or doesn’t, following the Teachings of the Divine. We are resisting what we see as being harmful to others, those we are told to care for. We see resistance as a way of keeping focused on the teachings of the Divine.

Resistance is never futile.

 


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